Trooping the Colour – The Mall – 17 June 2017

The annual ceremony was a little more subdued this year with The Queen initiating a minutes silence to the lives lost in recent events. The Colour was trooped by 1st Battalion Irish Guards, with regimental mascot Domhnall joining the parade along The Mall. Crowd numbers were down on previous years, possibly in part due to the heat as well as the fears for safety. The Duke of Edinburgh took his place by The Queen’s side for the first time in a suit having announced that he would be stepping back from public engagements.

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Celebrity Charity Football Match – Hullbridge, Essex – 18 June 2017

A Celeb FC team took on a Hullbridge XI at their Hullbridge Sports and Social Club ground to raise funds for Crossroads Care, helping Brentwood and Basildon carers. Organised by Karin Flower (winner of the Inspirational Woman of the Year Award 2017), the celebrity team included Rob Lamarr (Ch5 TV), DJ Pied Piper (‘Do You Really Like It’), George Gilbey (Gogglebox), Marlon Wallen and Jason Burrill (Big Brother), Josh Croswell (model), musicians and singers J Millz and Derry Mensah, plus semi-pro footballers Paul Shelock, Callum Flanagan, Ady Thomson and Chris Jennings and also Darren Taylor (sponsor).

In stifling 30 degrees C heat the celebrities took an early three goal lead in a surprisingly aggressive game with no quarter asked or given, before the home team finally pulled back to take a 5-3 win. Injuries had effectively left the celebrity team with no substitutes which may well have played a factor in the result, but it was all for a worthy cause.

See Celeb FC for future events.

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World Naked Bike Ride London – Westminster Bridge – 10 June 2017

The World Naked Bike Ride in London is a friendly protest against car culture, pollution and oil dependency, and gives people the chance to prove that the bike is a great alternative mode of transportation for travelling the city. Full or partial nudity is encouraged as well as creative expression, but is not mandatory. The event attracts all shapes and sizes, ages and genders. Groups start at various collection points around the city before converging in Westminster and riding a looped route to finish at the Wellington Arch.

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Demonstration against Tory-DUP Alliance – Westminster, London – 10 June 2017

A demonstration took place in London following news that the Conservative party would be calling on the Democratic Unionist Party to create the required majority in Parliament. Fears that the DUP would be given the chance to promote their extreme views brought out protesters from LGBT and women’s rights groups, with further demonstrators against racism and austerity adding to the numbers. After rallying on Parliament Square many of the protesters marched on Downing Street.

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The Color Run – Wembley Park, London – 11 June 2017

Labelled as ‘the happiest 5k on the planet’, The Color Run is an un-timed celebration of health and colour, with groups of friends and families running, walking, jogging, dancing and partying their way along the course at any pace, raising money for the NSPCC charity. At each kilometre the runners are sprayed in kaleidoscopic powder, plus one shower of foam. As the runners finish the course they gather round the Finish Festival Stage with ‘pumping’ music and more colour explosions. First held in 2012 in the US – hence the spelling – ‘The Color Run’ has since spread around the world. Runners are handed ponchos on leaving to help keep the powder from spreading to transport seats, and fellow passengers!

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Shuttleworth Fly Navy – Old Warden – 4 June 2017

One of the country’s favourite airshow venues held its second ‘Fly Navy’ event following the highly successful 2016 debut, but suffered from worsening weather and cancellation of the Sea Vixen (see Duxford). Still, the Old Warden atmosphere shone through the gloom and the renowned intimate flying distances made for a great day’s entertainment.

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Duxford Air Festival – Sunday 28 May 2017

The first airshow of the year at IWM Duxford offered a very varied and full flying programme spanning from Great War to present day military machinery, with much in between. Undoubted highlight was the Rafale of the Armee de l’air which outshone the RAF’s Typhoon, though the latter is still a powerful routine. There was a distinct lack of warbirds for a Duxford show, but that made for a more varied event. The Sea Vixen had displayed on the Saturday but suffered a wheels-up landing back at base after a hydraulic failure, and the MiG-15 was scrubbed at the end of the show.

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